Quiet Now, God’s Calling – Synchroblog


This post is part of a global Synchroblog on the (hefty) topic of “God’s Choice in Using the Foolish and Our Understanding of Calling.” Be sure to check out the list of other writers at the end of this post, as each will have a unique spin on this topic. If you’d like to participate in Synchroblogs like this one, let me know and I’ll direct you to the bunch.

It has been written that God talks through donkeys and stuttering old men, through thundering clouds and through bushes that refuse to burn. He even talks through naked prophets who made his metaphoric pronouncements out of burnt poop. Last week I was sure he was talking to me through my new iMac. It seems he would just like to get our attention, please.

When we are quiet enough to listen, God talks. He calls. It’d be easy to think that God has a bias for talking through the most unsuspecting. He seems to really like the things that others would call “foolish.” (Those bleeding-heart PC users, for instance, would call an iMac a foolish thing for God to talk through.)

My understanding of my own “calling” has taken on new and strange forms, you might say. Two years ago, I was a missionary in Portugal, ready to continue on to be a church-planter in Italy. I had to travel from Europe to California for a two-week intensive at Fuller. Right in the middle of my readiness for Italy, a homeless man in Union Station intercepted me. Dressed in rags, with his right toe showing through, he seemed unsuspecting as ever.

He was a burning-bush type sign. The road pirouetted for me all around the words God talked through him that night, doubtly-confirming all sorts of secret things I’d thought God had already whispered to me.

His name was Lance. He needed dinner, and I needed dinner, so we shared a cheap meal as I waited for my train to Santa Barbara. Without my telling him much of anything at all about my life, he began telling me a whole lot about my life. He quoted mouthfulls of word-for-word Scripture (from the King James Authorized version, no less), as I squinted and smiled in amazement. God was talking to me through Lance, the hungry homeless man.

Lance’s forehead dripped with sweat as he talked. He even forgot to eat his pastrami sandwich until the very end.

From that night on, I slowly began to understand that my “calling” and vocation was taking new shape, and it still is to this day. I was moving from full-time paid ministry in Portugal into a place of preparation and study for a future in Italy, where I hope that my “ministry” will simply be my life, and where God will pay me in his unsuspecting ways. (He’s proved very good at that, up till now.)

It meant me making choices that seemed foolish. I do not have answers for people who ask, “How long will you be in California?” or, “When will you go back to Europe?” I really do not know.

But I will try my best to listen well to the one who calls out to us in the most foolish ways. And wait.

(Photo by Next train to Ulan Bator?)

Other Synchrobloggers wax-smart on the Topic:
My Foolish Calling by Lisa Borden
The Power of Paradox by Julie Clawson
That Darn Ego by Jonathan Brink
Won’t Get Fooled Again by Alan Knox
Foolish Heart by Erin Word
A Fool’s Choice by Cindy Harvey
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right… by Mike Bursell
Ship of Fools by David Fisher
Hut Burning for God by Father Gregory
God Used This Fool by Cobus van Wyngaard
Blessed are the foolish — foolish are the blessed by Steve Hayes
Fool if you think its over Paul Walker
Strength on the Margins by Adam Gonnerman
What a Fool I’ve Been by Reba
Sonja at Ravine of Light
Phil at Square No More
And Sally at Sally’s Journey

7 Responses to “Quiet Now, God’s Calling – Synchroblog”
  1. hi hun,

    i can’t seem to get link to j. brink to go through and you have 2 for paul walker.

    can you cut and paste the list of bloggers so i can insert them into my post? thanks.

    joining the synchroblog late cuz, woo hoo, we’re back on line in TZ 🙂

  2. Alan Knox says:

    Yeah, God’s plans always seem foolish, especially to those of us who like to have all of our ducks in a row. God’s foolish path always seems to work out. I guess he knows what he’s doing after all.


  3. Sue says:

    I especially like when God speaks to me and my brood threw our favorite giggling, writing, sharing, housemate. She has real life that stops us in our tracks and reminds us to listen to our foolish sweet Jesus through His foolish people.
    I like that he knows what he is doing after all. I like when I go againist the grain and let my house fly out of order, and stop to have tea with one of my daughters and we end up talking about life…the real life that happens all around us in spite of our good and orderly efforts to make sense of the mess we think will just go away.
    TaDah!!!My oldest child would do this amazing summersault as a young toddler and then sit up and pose for a grand “TaDah!” with her arms spread out up high and her smile beaming. Now as she is older and ready to fly out on her own, I see how good and grand is her ability to trust God with the future because she doesn’t fear it, she knows it holds good things. So, I say to her- do your ‘TaDah!’ beautiful adult child…for you get the most important part – Trust Him for the future. Now we all need to do the thing we do. Move forward trusting him, stop all along the way, share lunch, listen to wisdom from all the Lances God puts in our path, and sing out our amazement and confusion of it all!
    I love you, Nelly! I raise my cup of tea and shout out my gratefulness for your path being here for this moment in your life!!

  4. joy says:

    last night before you posted this, my google reader showed just the title of your post, which read “Quiet Now, God’s Calling”. that’s all it said. that was God talking to me. i almost emailed you to share that with you. and then you wrote about it. He uses you, too, my dear. :o)

  5. Erin says:

    It’s tricky to learn to watch out for those burning bushes, but I think I’m getting better at it as the years go by.

  6. Jenelle says:

    @ Lisa,
    I’m so glad you were able to join us this month. That post of your’s was phenomenal.

    @ Alan,
    Why do ducks like being in a row, after all? I really like that Portuguese dish made with rice and duck, Arroz do Pato. Mmmm.

    @ Sue,
    You are a wonder of a woman. I love you, too. I’m so glad you’ve welcomed me into your home.

    @ Joy,
    Of course Dad would do that. Your comment made me very happy, you know.

    @ Erin,
    It is tricky, I’d say. He is more Creative than we give him credit for, I’m afraid.

  7. Christoph says:

    Here I stand; I can do no more!

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